As mentioned in my first article, I am not against formal classroom training for Diversity and Inclusion (D & I). As the CEO, you need to construct a strong foundation within your Executive Leadership Team (ELT), first. My last article introduced the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), as the focus for ELT development. In my opinion, this assessment tool is the best at creating awareness and action-oriented development steps, when administered by a Certified IDI Coach.
As a Certified Coach with IDI, I strongly recommend that your internal Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) becomes familiar with the tool and should eventually become an IDI Administrator. Immersing your ELT to this development tool and process will be one of the best investments that you make as a CEO. There are companies/individuals that charge up to a $1000 per person for completing the assessment while providing a single feedback session. A Fractional CDO, certified in the IDI methodology, can bring this critical strategical action step to life in your organization. Once certified, it should become a critical component of the CDO’s role, as we work to identify a mid to long term solution for D & I continuity, once my “Sunset” work has been completed. The Fractional CDO should provide this service as part of their monthly stipend, except for a small Administrative Charge that IDI imposes on each assessment.
Leverage your CDO to optimize honest and constructive feedback.
Establishing the ELT IDI foundation should take no longer than 60 days. Once the ELT journey has begun in earnest, then the CDO should work with you and your team to establish a series of ongoing “Listening Sessions.” It starts with the CEO & CDO facilitating a company wide session followed by each ELT member replicating a similar session within their own business units. Leveraging your CDO in preparation, delivery, and follow-up should be your best approach optimizing honest and constructive feedback. This format should occur on a regular basis for the first year, minimally.
These two steps, IDI and Listening Sessions, will go a long way in establishing your commitment as the CEO. Your team will sense your sincerity, especially if you reinforce your message by becoming a member of the “CEO Action” group, now counting over 1000 USA based CEO’s from businesses of all sizes. There is no cost to join and membership provides your ELT a litany of fantastic DEI resource. Your CPO should be able to help you get signed up with this group. When you couple these three (3) steps with a strong Diversity Council and integration of a strong D &I lens in every aspect of your business, your company’s DEI approach will truly start to enhance positive outcomes and impact improving engagement that drives financial results.
My next article will continue Part 3 of the DDC Systemic Approach by diving deeper into measurement and expanding D & I advocates. Please remember, a Fractional CDO approach can balance results and costs, quickly and effectively. The DDC approach is meant to be a “Sunset” position that ensures sustainable value and impact for years to come. At the end of the engagement, together, we will identify the proper advocates whether a Full Time CDO or a sharing of the responsibilities by all members of the ELT.